Now, I'm eating fish and eggs but still no dairy or other meat. A medical diet I was on eliminated all of my vegan protein sources and so, my new diet. I'm now a Keith-an. No, I don't eat Keiths.
A regular commenter here at RockAss.net, Crowliosis suggested we have it out on the vegan discussion. Unlike a certain Mr. Sucks, Crow is fun to disagree with. He's smart and respectful and knows how to do more than sling accusations and insults.
So, here goes, in two parts, my argument for veganism.
- I will not argue that it is unethical for one animal to eat another. It's what animals due. Going extinct is also what many animals due. Our intelligence is hopefully a useful trait that can give us an advantage over less intelligent animals, meaning we can make decisions to our advantage. I'm arguing against the idea that eating meat is right because it's natural. I'll go further, we don't really like being natural all that much. Rape it can be argued is natural, as is having way too many babies.Speaking of too many babies, there are over six billion people on the planet. This makes eating meat an environmentally disastrous decision as it is a most inefficient use of resources. Rainforests are cleared for cattle grazing, and any one whose traversed California on highway 99 has seen way too many cows crowded together on too small a plot of land. Then there's the horrors of pig-shit, way too much of it and nowhere to put it.
- Feeding so many people also means more efficient ways of raising the animals. One does not need to be opposed to the killing part of meat to be disgusted by the way they are treated prior to the killing. Factory farms would give even your staunchest meat lover a nightmare. Yes, you can get meat from smaller farms. It's not practical for feeding such a big population but if you must eat the stuff, it's the way to go.
- So where does dairy fit in? It's just as bad or worse environmentally, and from the cruelty angle, I'd rather be a meat cow who at least has the relief of death at a comparatively young age than a milk cow.
To summarize, crowded planet means more efficient diets needed to benefit already strained environment and to avoid inhumane methods of producing great quantities of meat and dairy.
This is where I could use more learning, and perhaps I'll get some if we get a good discussion going here.
- What I do know is that the calcium argument doesn't hold water. Milk's not that great a source, we get plenty from Spinach and other green and especially leafy green veggies. Plus without enough magnesium a-lot of the calcium goes right through, or worse it gets deposited where it's neither needed or wanted. The western diet is thought by some to be too high in calcium and there are studies suggesting that Asian women having easier menstrual cycles and some other advantages maybe related to their much lower consumption of dairy.
- Protein. Again, there are plenty of sources of protein other than meat. Beans, lentils, legumes, wheat, nuts, etc. And again, the American diet is crazy high in fatty proteins. Yes, I'll admit that it's crazy high in Carbs too, but it's easier to be a low carb vegan than you may think.
- B complex vitamins. There's still a-lot debate on this one. Some argue that you can't get it without eating animals, others suggest that you can get it by eating what those animals eat, ie raw green foods. I think the more live vegetables and fruit in your diet the better.
There are cultures who've eaten vegetarian and vegan diets for centuries and others who are close. It's proven to be nutritionally sufficient to maintain health.
So that's my argument so far.
And just for fun, what would I eat first if I had too. Already answered a bit by what I am eating. This list takes ethics and nutrition into account.
- Fish, not farmed and caught using hooks not net and only species that are still found in abundance.
- Eggs, from cage free well fed chickens, cause you eat what they eat.
- Dairy. I think it's bad stuff for grown up animals. No other animal consumes milk except in it's infancy from it's mother, oh and raccoons but only if we hold the cows still for 'em.
- Pigs. Pig shit is seriously a big problem and pork, way not healthy. Sorry Jones, if you read this far.
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